6 Apps That Turn Your iPad Into An Overpriced-Yet-Awesome Cat Toy
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ipad cat toyCats are awesome. We all agree on that (if you don’t, I have a feeling you might not want to turn your iPad into a cat toy. Just saying). I must admit, though, that even for a cat lover like me, the idea of letting my cats play with my precious iPad seemed a bit crazy. I mean, they have enough toys of their own that don’t cost hundreds of dollars.

Well, I’m here to tell you that letting your cats play with iPad cat toys is the most fun you and they are going to have this month. Surprisingly, cats (at least mine) tend to be very gentle on the screen and don’t really use their claws, and seeing them trying to find the critters on the screen under the iPad is positively hilarious. So if you feel ready now, and think you’re up to trying, here are 6 great apps that turn your iPad into an awesome cat toy. You won’t regret it!

Friskies JitterBug [iTunes]

This game by Friskies was definitely one of the favorites. When you load it, you can either choose “Play Game” or “Advanced”. In Advanced, you can choose how many bugs you want to see of each, and choose to play the endless mode, which basically lets your cat play forever and ever.

ipad cat toy

If you start the game through the Advanced screen, you will get a totally black screen with cute bugs on it. My cats loved this. When the cat taps on a bug, it disappears, but new ones enter all the time. The game has no sound. If it’s not in endless mode, the cat can “win” by killing all the bugs.

ipad as cat toy

If you don’t enter the game through the advanced screen, you will get a timed game with prompts and levels, which my cats found somewhat less appealing.

Cat Fishing [iTunes] & Cat Fishing 2 [iTunes]

These are two more games by Friskies, which are very similar to one another and are therefore included under the same title. The goal of the game is for the cat to tap on the fish. When it does, they disappear. Here, too, there is no sound.

In Cat Fishing, there’s just this screen with one fish, which is replaced by a new one when the cat taps it. There’s a “kill count” on the top right corner.

ipad as cat toy

Cat Fishing 2 is a bit more complex, with more than one fish at a time, and a timer and levels that keep prompting and switching. As with JitterBug, my cats loved the fish, not so much the prompts.

ipad as cat toy

Game For Cats [iTunes]

Game for Cats are really trying to sell you more games, but their free version is actually quite good too. When you launch the app, you will see this screen. The cheese version on the right requires an in-app purchase, but the laser version on the left is totally free.

ipad as cat toy app

If your cats like to play with a laser pointer, they’re going to love this. The laser dot moves around the screen at a surprisingly lifelike way, and is really calling out to cats to catch it. The dot is a bit hard to catch, but if they manage to do it, it blows up with a small ding sound, and a new one appears.

ipad as cat toy app

To exit the game, tap the paw icon on the bottom 5 times in a row (hopefully your cats can’t do this).

Cat Toys Lite [iTunes]

In this game, your cat gets to play with a purple mouse trapped in a box. You can control the speed of the mouse, and toggle sounds on and off. When your cat taps the mouse, it speeds up, and if sounds are on, it also squeaks.

ipad as cat toy app

Something about the mouse’s movements really caught my cats’ eye, and they went to great lengths trying to catch it. You can also get the full version for $0.99, which lets you choose between 5 different toys.


Cat Toy [iTunes]

Now this is a good one. Cat Toy is actually an iPhone app, one of those you have to blow up to fit the iPad screen, but if your cats are not too picky about their graphics, it’s not a problem.

The game lets you choose between four different modes: Itsy (spider), Flutter (butterfly), Zapper (laser) and Squeak (mouse).


The favorite in my house was the mouse, hands down. In this mode, the mouse is running around the screen, and then vanishes off it. While it’s gone, you hear scratching sounds that simply drove my cats crazy. They were sure the mouse was hiding under the iPad.


The other modes are fun too, but not as good as this. The only problem was that my cats were so enthusiastic, they kept activating multi-touch gestures and switching apps. This only happened with this app.

Catch The Mouse Cat Game [iTunes – $0.99]

As the only paid app on this lineup, Catch the Mouse is worth the 99¢, but (at least for my cats) only if you turn off the sound.

What you get in this game is a cute orange mouse, and it’s running around the screen for dear life. The sounds, unfortunately, are bit over the top, and my cats were not really buying it. They sat there looking at the thing, but it was making such unbelievable sounds, they weren’t engaged.

ipad cat toy

The magic happened when I turned off the sound. Suddenly, the mouse became very attractive, and the hits counter started climbing. If you don’t like orange on black, there are 5 different background colors to choose from, and 3 different mouse colors.

Bottom Line

Turning the iPad into a cat toy is officially a success. The apps are great, and the cats had loads of fun (and so did us humans).


What do your cats think of these games? Or do you think it’s totally crazy to even try? Do you know any more cool cat games for the iPad? Share everything in the comments.

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  1. tomas
    December 27, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    totaly missing the best and complete free called MOUSE FOR CATS!

  2. Anonymous
    March 19, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Ment to say rat or bird going around the screen.

  3. Anonymous
    March 19, 2015 at 2:36 am

    I love the app "Cat Toys 3D. " My cat plays with it like crazy. You have a choice of a cat or a bird going around on different screens and the each make their own sounds. My cat tries to dig underneath the iPad to see if he can catch it . I found out about it from a friend of mine. His cat actually cries for the iPad to be brought down for him. LOL cats are adorable

  4. Andrey Zvyagin
    June 12, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Nonsense gross, but cool!

  5. BellabooHopper
    March 30, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Have most of these apps already and my cat loves them, it's so cute trying to get the mouse and then being confused when it disappears, then she tries to look under the iPad to see where it's gone.

  6. Surlacreek
    February 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I'm going to get a cat!

    • Tina
      February 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      LOL Best reason to get a cat ever!

    • Yaara
      February 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

      I second what Tina said! Getting a cat for the iPad is great. :)

  7. SoloPocono
    February 23, 2012 at 6:58 am

    OK, my Feline Mistress has every one of these-plus a few more!! Call-A-Cat by Friskies, "Amazing Spider", while not specifically a "cat game", nor an iPad app, Princess Sita actually prefers this one, AND "Koi Pond". The last two were also two of the first apps I got for my iPod. While she doesn't necessarily go into "batting" overdrive with them, she'll stare at them for an hour sometimes!! As far as her more active play, yes, she also prefers either Jitterbug OR GamesForCats, (both options-she switches back and forth on her own.) The Call-A-Cat we do when she wants to play "hide & seek", OR, just when I need to find her newest sleeping spot... Lol!
    Oh, did I mention she also likes watching videos on "HER" netbook??!! ("Mean Kitty", AKA Sparta is #1, then she likes to watch a bit of Nora-especially when I'm trying to slow her down.. ;)

    • Yaara
      February 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

      That's truly awesome. :)) I will definitely check out Call-A-Cat, wonder what my cats would think of it.

  8. Saifuna
    February 12, 2012 at 4:52 am

    so cute!!!!

  9. Matt Glastonbury
    February 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Gaming for puddy tats.. how cool is that!

    The difference between cats and dogs? Dogs have owners and cats have staff! Example case in point below, displaying cats who have managed to get their staff to buy them apps and to borrow the iPad.. now, c'mon, who's dog does that!?

  10. Paul Janssen
    February 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Ahw so cute, when I have my iPad3, my cat can have my iPad2

  11. Kerry_four
    February 10, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Seek Tall lovers on -- Tall mingle.???  --, a nice club for tall people to date.

  12. J France
    February 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

    The RSPCA in Queensland has also released a free game "The Affection Connection" that may or may not be available outside the Australian Apple App Store. Free, has sound and three distinct modes.

    • Yaara
      February 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Interesting! Couldn't find it, though. Too bad. Thanks for the recommendation. Maybe it will become available sometimes in the future.

  13. Chris Hoffman
    February 10, 2012 at 3:46 am

    I'm shocked they're so gentle with it! Amazingly cute photos, though.

    What I found fascinating was how so many of the apps included prompts that couldn't be understood by cats. Prompts are a gameplay convention, after all.

    There's a lesson in there about not taking conventions for granted and thinking about your audience.

    • Yaara
      February 10, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Exactly. I mean, it's not like I could actually read the prompts (which were obviously meant for me) while the cats were playing. So the whole thing was really useless.

  14. Dave Parrack
    February 10, 2012 at 1:59 am

    I cannot afford an iPad for myself let alone buying one for my cat! And I don't care how much he begs me for one either. He's already spoiled.

    • Yaara
      February 10, 2012 at 7:44 am

      I hear you. :))) I got my iPad as a present, and I mostly use it for MakeUseOf stuff, so why not let my cats have a go? :)

      Like I mentioned in the article, they were actually surprisingly gentle with it!

      • Dave Parrack
        February 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

        Knowing how mine rips my hand to pieces when we're playing, I don't think he'd be so gentle.

        An iPad is a pretty sweet present. I wish I was that fortunate! ;)